Death by Black Hole Quotes

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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson
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“Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“When scientifically investigating the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“So you're made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“As a child, I was aware that, at night, infrared vision would reveal monsters hiding in the bedroom closet only if they were warm-blooded. But everybody knows that your average bedroom monster is reptilian and cold-blooded.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Scientific inquiry shouldn't stop just because a reasonable explanation has apparently been found.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“The remarkable feature of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them. After the laws of physics, everything else is opinion.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Allow intelligent design into science textbooks, lecture halls, and laboratories, and the cost to the frontier of scientific discovery—the frontier that drives the economies of the future—would be incalculable. I don't want students who could make the next major breakthrough in renewable energy sources or space travel to have been taught that anything they don't understand, and that nobody yet understands, is divinely constructed and therefore beyond their intellectual capacity. The day that happens, Americans will just sit in awe of what we don't understand, while we watch the rest of the world boldly go where no mortal has gone before.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Some morning while your eating breakfast and you need something new to think about, though, you might want to ponder the fact that you see your kids across the table not as they are but as they once were, about three nanoseconds ago.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“While the Copernican principle comes with no guarantees that it will forever guide us to cosmic truths, it's worked quite well so far: not only is Earth not in the center of the solar system, but the solar system is not in the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy is not in the center of the universe, and it may come to pass that our universe is just one of many that comprise a multiverse. And in case you're one of those people who thinks that the edge may be a special place, we are not at the edge of anything either.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“If humans one day become extinct from a catastrophic collision, there would be no greater tragedy in the history of life in the universe. Not because we lacked the brain power to protect ourselves but because we lacked the foresight. The dominant species that replaces us in post-apocalyptic Earth just might wonder, as they gaze upon our mounted skeletons in their natural history museums, why large-headed Homo sapiens fared no better than the proverbially pea-brained dinosaurs.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“In modern times, if the sole measure of what’s out there flows from your five senses then a precarious life awaits you.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“In the twentieth century, astrophysicists in the United States discovered galaxies, the expanding of the universe, the nature of supernovas, quasars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, the origin of the elements, the cosmic microwave background, and most of the known planets in orbit around solar systems other than our own. Although the Russians reached one or two places before us, we sent space probes to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. American probes have also landed on Mars and on the asteroid Eros. And American astronauts have walked on the Moon. Nowadays most Americans take all this for granted, which is practically a working definition of culture: something everyone does or knows about, but no longer actively notices.

While shopping at the supermarket, most Americans aren’t surprised to find an entire aisle filled with sugar-loaded, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. But foreigners notice this kind of thing immediately, just as traveling Americans notice that supermarkets in Italy display vast selections of pasta and that markets in China and Japan offer an astonishing variety of rice. The flip side of not noticing your own culture is one of the great pleasures of foreign travel: realizing what you hadn’t noticed about your own country, and noticing what the people of other countries no longer realize about themselves.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Let's grant that the stars are scattered through space, hither and yon. But how hither, and how yon? To the unaided eye the brightest stars are more than a hundred times brighter than the dimmest. So the dim ones are obviously a hundred times farther away from Earth, aren't they?

Nope.

That simple argument boldly assumes that all stars are intrinsically equally luminous, automatically making the near ones brighter than the far ones. Stars, however, come in a staggering range of luminosities, spanning ten orders of magnitude ten powers of ten. So the brightest stars are not necessarily the ones closest to Earth. In fact, most of the stars you see in the night sky are of the highly luminous variety, and they lie extraordinarily far away.

If most of the stars we see are highly luminous, then surely those stars are common throughout the galaxy.
Nope again.

High-luminosity stars are the rarest. In any given volume of space, they're outnumbered by the low-luminosity stars a thousand to one. It's the prodigious energy output of high-luminosity stars that enables you to see them across such large volumes of space.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“What are the lessons to be learned from this journey of the mind? That humans are emotionally fragile, perennially gullible, hopelessly ignorant masters of an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos.
Have a nice day.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Still, our knowledge of the planets was meager, and where ignorance lurks, so too do the frontiers of discovery and imagination.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Yes, not only humans but also every other organism in the cosmos, as well as the planets or moons on which they thrive, would not exist but for the wreckage of spent stars. So you’re made of detritus. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Without a doubt, the most spectacular way to die in space is to fall into a black hole.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“When people believe a tale that conflicts with self-checkable evidence it tells me that people undervalue the role of evidence on formulating an internal belief system. Why this is so is not clear, but it enables many people to hold fast to ideas and notions based purely on supposition.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“By the way, were we to find life-forms on Venus, we would probably call them Venutians, just as people from Mars would be Martians. But according to rules of Latin genitives, to be “of Venus” ought to make you a Venereal. Unfortunately, medical doctors reached that word before astronomers did. Can’t blame them, I suppose. Venereal disease long predates astronomy, which itself stands as only the second oldest profession.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. You cannot build a program of discovery on the assumption that nobody is smart enough to figure out the answer to a problem.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“After 50 years of television, there’s no other conclusion the aliens could draw, but that most humans are neurotic, death-hungry, dysfunctional idiots.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“Our five senses even interfere with sensible answers to stupid metaphysical questions like, “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” My best answer is, “How do you know it fell?” But that just gets people angry. So I offer a senseless analogy, “Q: If you can’t smell the carbon monoxide, then how do you know it’s there? A: You drop dead.” In modern times, if the sole measure of what’s out there flows from your five senses then a precarious life awaits you.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“And behold the greatest mystery of them all: an unopened can of diet Pepsi floats in water while an unopened can of regular Pepsi sinks.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science. —EDWIN P. HUBBLE (1889–1953), The Nature of Science”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“Let there be no doubt that as they are currently practiced, there is no common ground between science and religion.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“Knowledge of physical laws can, in some cases, give you the confidence to confront surly people. A few years ago I was having a hot-cocoa nightcap at a dessert shop in Pasadena, California. I had ordered it with whipped cream, of course. When it arrived at the table, I saw no trace of the stuff. After I told the waiter that my cocoa was plain, he asserted I couldn’t see the whipped cream because it sank to the bottom. Since whipped cream has a very low density and floats on all liquids that humans consume, I offered the waiter two possible explanations: either somebody forgot to add the whipped cream to my hot cocoa or the universal laws of physics were different in his restaurant. Unconvinced, he brought over a dollop of whipped cream to test for himself. After bobbing once or twice in my cup, the whipped cream sat up straight and afloat. What better proof do you need of the universality of physical laws?”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
“What are the chances that this first and only smart species in the history of life on Earth has enough smarts to completely figure out how the universe works? Chimpanzees are an evolutionary hair’s-width from us yet we can agree that no amount of tutelage will ever leave a chimp fluent in trigonometry. Now imagine a species on Earth, or anywhere else, as smart compared with humans as humans are compared with chimpanzees. How much of the universe might they figure out?”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“The easy part is the ray’s 500-second speed-of-light jaunt from the Sun to Earth, through the void of interplanetary space. The hard part is the light’s million-year adventure to get from the Sun’s center to its surface.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole
“...cool stars are red. Tepid stars are white. Hot stars are blue. Very hot stars are still blue. How about the very, very hot places, like the 15-million-degree center of the Sun? Blue. To an astrophysicist, red-hot foods and red-hot lovers both leave room for improvement.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

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